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Congressman John Campbell

A Final Note

Well, this day came much faster than I expected.

After penning hundreds of these missives, I find myself now sitting down to write what will be my last “Laptop Report” to all of you as a Member of Congress.

For the last decade and through several sessions of Congress, you’ve given me the opportunity to share my thoughts on a myriad of issues facing this nation and our world. This has truly been a privilege and honor that I never took lightly.

These reports have been a way for me to talk to you directly and to engage with you on complicated issues that weren’t always easy to solve with a polished quote or quick sound bite. In turn, many of you responded with thoughtful feedback each time. I want you to know that I read and appreciated those replies.

For those who asked to be added to my “Post-Congress” list, this will not be the last time you hear from me. We will continue our discussion sometime next year.

However, I want to take this last chance to just say thank you. I enjoyed writing these reports and I hope they offered you a perspective that you were not getting from the usual… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

“Increasing Income Disparity”

State of the Economy, Part 3 – “Increasing Income Disparity”: Last week, I laid out for you the case that “income inequality” should really be called “increasing income disparity” and suggested that it is a worldwide phenomenon. I also debunked commonly expressed “solutions” for this problem you often hear from leaders in Washington. However, I have not yet presented solutions of my own. Before I do, let’s first examine the factors at work here that I believe are causing this phenomenon.

There were a number of serious recessions during the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. No one alive today has ever talked to anyone who experienced the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. So, with the exception of historians, it doesn’t get as much coverage in contemporary discussion as say, the Great Depression. What you may not know is that the Industrial Revolution caused a large job displacement at first. When the jobs on the farm went away, they were not immediately replaced in a factory. It took time before people figured out what to do with the extra disposable… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Does Income Inequality Exist?

Last year, President Obama started raising the issue of “income inequality” as a new problem in America. He then proposed to fix this problem using the same “solutions” that he and other Democrats have been pushing for 40 years: Raise the minimum wage and increase unemployment insurance payments. He also used it to further advocate for wealth redistribution via the tax code.

Republicans generally responded that the issue was made up or trumped up by Obama and that this problem either doesn’t exist or is not as big a deal as he suggests. A few Republicans acknowledged the issue and proposed we fix it with tax cuts, which of course was the remedy said Republicans have been pushing for 40 years.

In my opinion, both sides are wrong. Obama is clearly using “income inequality” as a new reason to advocate for the same things he wanted long before “income inequality” ever entered the vernacular. In the same way, Republicans using it to advocate for our standard policy choices is equally inappropriate. So, what do I think we should or should not be doing… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Defending our Culture

Last week, we discussed the “Second War Between the States”. Without question, this is a war of laws and policies. However, it is much more than that. It is a war over culture.

I am a big culture guy. I think it is the most important factor in predicting the success or failure or any association of human beings. Understanding the culture of a family will tell you much more about that family than will their address, income or the cars they drive. The culture in a company or a non-profit is tremendously influential on how they operate and whether you would want to associate with them or not. We have all probably worked somewhere or at least interviewed somewhere where the company culture was not a fit and we knew it was not a good place for us.

Countries and states have cultures, too. We certainly have long had a very strong and recognizable American culture. The American culture is not English culture or French culture or Mexican culture or Japanese culture. It is uniquely American. And, within our culture, many different “dialects” can be found across the country. But, just like English spoken in Alabama is still closer to English spoken in the… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Lending to European Countries?

Appropriately, there is a lot of focus in Congress these days on Obamacare and the NSA, IRS and Benghazi scandals. But, the failings of this president and his administration are not limited to just those issues. The committees on which I sit have no jurisdiction over any of the aforementioned areas. However, that doesn’t mean we’re not doing anything. It’s just that the work we are doing doesn’t often make the news, except maybe business news like Bloomberg or CNBC.

Yesterday, we had Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testify on international monetary issues before the Financial Services Committee. He is required to do this annually. If you click HERE, you’ll find a short video of the opening statement I gave at the beginning of this hearing.

You will see that although you are not hearing anything about it, the Obama Administration wants to send $63 billion of your… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Terms of Surrender

It’s over…….for now.

The mainstream media (MSM) would have you believe that this was a “bipartisan agreement”. It was…..in the same way that Lee and Grant reached an agreement at the Appomattox Courthouse in 1865. It was a complete surrender on the part of Republicans. All that was “negotiated” were the terms of that surrender.

President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi got what they wanted. They employed an admittedly risky strategy a month ago centered on the basis that they would not negotiate, not compromise and not talk. Taking this position and holding it meant that it was certain the country was going to go close to “the brink” of the debt ceiling. Boehner repeatedly said that “default” was not an option. The Democrat troika never said that. They were willing to risk the future of this nation in pursuit of their socialist dreams. Their strategy left only two possible outcomes: Republican surrender or we find out what happens if a modern government runs out of money. They got the former.

The battle is lost. But, the war is far from over. The nature and timing of future battles… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Shutdown Day 12 and 13

Shutdown Day 12 and 13: I did not write you yesterday. Not because I have lost any affection for you, but because the “negotiations” in the House and the Senate were moving so fast that I feared that anything I wrote you would be obsolete before you had time to read it. There is still a risk of that on this gloomy and wet Sunday morning in Washington, DC.

I also wanted to put down my rhetorical sword in the hopes that real discussions to perhaps get a win-win solution here were ongoing. It seems that whenever I give this administration and their allies the benefit of the doubt, it leads to disappointment. And it did so again this weekend.

Here is where we stand as I see it. I put the word “negotiations” in quotes because it is quite clear now that the president was disingenuous in his agreement to enter negotiations. House Republicans made a good faith offer to begin resolution of this dispute. The offer was one that I and others didn’t think was very good from our perspective, but it was made. The White House took a day to pretend as though they were negotiating, because they are clearly sensitive to that criticism,… Read More

Congressman John Campbell

Government Shutdown Day 11

Government Shutdown Day 11: This will be a short update today. Negotiations are ongoing between Speaker Boehner and his staff and President Obama and his staff. Also, over in the Senate, there is a sizable group of Republicans and Democrats also working on an agreement. Apparently, only Harry Reid is still holding out to not negotiate and is not involved in any of this or may be trying to mess it up.

At this point, I have no idea what has been put on the table and what has not. I don’t know if the negotiations are going well or poorly. I don’t know if this is still two separate negotiations or if there is some collaboration with the Senate. I don’t know if a deal will be reached, and if so if I will like and support that deal or dislike it and oppose it.

But after 11 days, we are finally doing what should have happened 3 weeks ago. Both sides of divided government are talking, negotiating and compromising. That is as it should be. That is how it has to be.

I’ll give you another update when some proverbial smoke comes out of the chimney signaling some agreement.

Until then, drive fast and live free.… Read More

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